We cannot reduce revelation and the word of Jesus Christ just because many Catholics do not know the reality.
By Tony Pead
There has been a storm of protests amongst senior Cardinals following a two-hour address given by Cardinal Kasper (President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) which suggested that divorced and remarried people might be readmitted to communion.
Cardinal Walter Kasper, at the behest of Pope Francis, addressed about 150 Cardinals gathered for an Extraordinary Consistory on the Family on 20 February 2014. In his keynote address, leaked to the press shortly afterwards (as quoted by Sandro Magister), Kasper asked:
Some maintain that non-participation in communion is itself a sign of the sanctity of the sacrament. The question that is posed in response is: is it not perhaps an exploitation of the [divorced and remarried] person who is suffering and asking for help if we make him a sign and a warning for others? Are we going to let him die of hunger sacramentally in order that others may live?
The Extraordinary Consistory’s deliberations were preliminary to an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to discuss the theme of “pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation” – to be held in Rome in October 2014.
However, there is more to come.
85% of Cardinals against the “Kasper Theorem”
Marco Tosatti of the Italian newspaper La Stampa reveals that from day one a majority of the College of Cardinals (he estimates 85%) was against the “Kasper Theorem”, the practical effect of which would be the complete destruction of the edifice of the Sacramental Theology of Matrimony and Penitence, a disregard for the Most Holy Sacrament, and a frontal assault to the words of Christ Himself, maintained by the Catholic Church without interruption and even in the face of adverse situations for 2000 years (e.g. the Henry VIII schism ,or the ongoing struggle against polygamy in Africa). Tosatti has pieced together some of the more important and significant statements made by Cardinals opposing the ‘Kasper Theorem’.
Meanwhile, as reported on the SSPX website, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, declared on February 25 to journalists that the Church’s doctrine on the issue of divorced-and-remarried Catholics was clear and that it was impossible to change it. “We must seek some way of developing pastoral ministry with regard to marriage, but not solely for divorced-and-remarried persons,” the high-ranking prelate emphasised, for “we cannot focus constantly on this question alone, namely whether or not they can receive Communion.”
“It must not be forgotten that the problems and the wounds are the divorce, the children who no longer have their parents and must live with persons who are not their parents”, he stressed.
Although new ways can be explored, it will have to be without going against “the will of Jesus”, Cardinal Mueller pointed out, recalling the importance of the indissolubility of marriage. These new ways, he explained, must be along the lines of a deeper understanding of the doctrine for the faithful. “Many do not know it and think that marriage is merely a ceremony that you celebrate in church,” he continued. “We must help these persons who find themselves in a very difficult situation, but if marriage is indissoluble, it is impossible to dissolve it.”
“There is no solution,” he added, “because the Church’s dogma is not just any theory made up by some theologians; it is the doctrine of the Church, nothing less than the word of Jesus Christ, which is quite clear.” And he insisted: “I cannot change the Church’s doctrine.”
Deploring the fact that Church doctrine is so widely misunderstood, “We cannot reduce revelation and the word of Jesus Christ just because many Catholics do not know the reality,” he declared again.